Commodities form the backbone of any economy. Shipping commodities requires an expert logistics provider as the needs for each of them are unique. For moving perishables, metal, stone, and several other raw materials, shippers ask for bulk and timely delivery. Shipping of commodities can also be seasonal, especially with perishables. The global pandemic and the Russia–Ukraine crisis have led to a surge in commodity prices even as the demand for commodity surges, leading to rising commodity shipping rates, according to CNBC.
All this leads to questions about how shippers can bring the cost down to the extent possible while providing timely service to customers.
The logistics of commodities presents several challenges. One of them is handling the capacity of the container. As explained by JOC, the most common challenge shippers face is a lack of timely delivery. On-time delivery of perishables and several other commodities is a must. Several factors like port congestion and the war between Russia and Ukraine play a role in this challenge. A solid partnership with a logistics provider can help smooth over these obstacles.
One important thing to look for is accessorial fees and other expenses associated with commodity shipping rates. These are fees charged by a logistics provider for services other than agreed pick-up and delivery charges. Sometimes they add additional costs to the invoice after delivery has been executed to cover unexpected bills and expenses incurred during shipping. Such expenses can be mitigated by having a managed services logistics provider.
In addition to the apparent issues facing supply chain logistics, there is always the issue of weather and road conditions, reports US News. Those issues are on full display as the Russia-Ukraine conflict continues. With collaborative logistics provided by the logistics partner, the shipper can access his cargo globally. ETA of the goods can be approximated, thus improving the efficiency of manufacturer and distributor alike.
Collaboration of inbound shipment and the distributor, shipper, carrier, driver, and the customer is vital to the entire supply chain. Such a platform with transparency and technology innovations can improve timely delivery, reduce wastage and spoilage of commodities and ensure safe delivery to the desired location.
LTL and FTL management plays an essential role in transporting bulk commodities and perishables. Reefers carry perishables, high-precision electronic components, pathogens, or chemicals needed to produce certain drugs. Optimization of the space inside them requires expertise. A logistics provider with access to a network of carriers can mitigate this challenge that can be time-consuming and increase commodity shipping rates.
Dry vans are critical in the shipment of non-perishables. Shipping commodities such as grain requires a van with large capacity and airflow. Besides, the sanitation of these vans is also as crucial as the sanitation of reefers. Logistics providers with an extensive network of vetted carriers are needed to mitigate this challenge. Logistics providers must know laws concerning maximum capacity allowed for specific transportation modes, as outlined by the Federal Highway Administration. That is possible only by a 3 PL provider who has intimate knowledge of commodity shipping rates and access to extensive data analytics and information.
Commodities from a single shipper can be loaded in different containers, which makes tracking these imperative. Many logistics providers throughout the country are providing cloud-based solutions. But not all are the same. A logistics partner like Zengistics, a technology-rooted, non-asset brokerage backed by a billion- dollar asset company, has the expertise and a comprehensive suite of services to accommodate even the most complex needs for shipping commodities. A single point of contact through an application provides data and visibility into lane trends easily accessible to all the participants in the supply chain. Importers and manufacturers of commodities who need multi-drop and route optimization get direct access to all the vital data needed to work on consolidation inside of trucks. This in return will maximize density and improve efficiency.
Commodities shipping is a massive market in itself. Global commerce simply demands a technology partner that will grow with the expanding needs of a shipper and a manufacturer. Contact Zengistics today for a free quote and find the right partner for your business growth with collaborative logistics and innovative tools right at your fingertips.